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May 25, 2010

Chapter-a-Day Isaiah 47

One phone call away. Ruin descends— you can't charm it away.
Disaster strikes— you can't cast it off with spells.
Catastrophe, sudden and total— and you're totally at sea, totally bewildered!
Isaiah 47:11 (MSG)

The phone call came on a warm summer evening. I was in the basement (where it was cool), watching television.

Pack something quick. Get in the car. We're going

Grandpa and grandma were on a walk. There was an accident. They were struck by a car. We don't know anything more. Let's go.

There are scenes from that night that are indelibly etched in my memory. I remember the long drive to northwest Iowa. In pre-cell phone days there was no instant communication. You drove. You waited to find out. You agonized. You prayed. I remember hearing the nurse at St. Luke's hospital say that my grandma was dead. What a strange concept for my ten year old brain to grasp. I'd just seen grandma weeks before, and now I'd never see her again. I remember seeing my father cry for the first time and my mother comforting him. My vision of parents expanded that night. I saw humanity in them that I'd never perceived before.

I learned an important life lesson that warm summer evening. It was not anything that any person said. Experience was my teacher. I learned that we are all, every one of use, just one heartbeat, one breath, one teenager's momentary distraction, one unexpected phone call from tragic, life altering circumstances beyond our control.

It's good to know who holds the future.

It's good each night that I lay my head on the pillow and can thank God that the phone didn't ring that day.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and qole


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Matthew Burch

Yes, Tom. To know this deeply is to know that there is no future at hand, only a a minute by minute reality. I know that you know that reality and honor your words expressed from that space of origin and center!

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